Walter Bagehot - The English Constitution (1867)
55 Sourced Quotes
The apparent rulers of the English nation are like the most imposing personages of the a splendid procession; it is by them that the mob are influenced; it is they who the inspectors cheer. The real rulers are secreted in second hand carriages; no one cares for them or asks about them, but they are obeyed implicitly and unconsciously by reason of the splendour of those who eclipsed and preceded them.
Whatever expenditure is sanctioned—even when it is sanctioned against the ministry's wish—the ministry must find the money. Accordingly, they have the strongest motive to oppose extra outlay.... The ministry is (so to speak) the breadwinner of the political family, and has to meet the cost of philanthropy and glory; just as the head of a family has to pay for the charities of his wife and the toilette of his daughters.
Efficiency in an assembly requires a solid mass of steady votes; and these are collected by a deferential attachment to particular men, or by a belief in the principles that those men represent, and they are maintained by fear of those men - by the fear that if you vote against them, you may soon yourself have no vote at all.